“Root” is an installation project that tells the stories behind ancient Chinese idioms. Each piece is accompanied by an English translation of the story and is named by the idiom in Chinese.
The central piece "藕断丝连" shows the endless repetition and struggle of life. Walking around it leads a tour around all the other pieces on the wall, which are more concrete life situations. These situations and struggles are self-reflective; as a long-term project, new pieces will be added as the artist finds new idioms to update her thoughts and feelings.
Also, with this project, the artist is taking her first step to intentionally introduce Chinese culture to the Western world, and finding her place in this connection. "Wherever my branches get, China is my root."
The root of lotus, though broken into pieces, the fibre inside it would still be connected.
In State Qi of Han Dynasty, two men proposed to the same girl. The man who lives in the east is ugly but rich; the man who lives in the west is handsome but poor. The girl’s parents could not decide. They asked the girl who she would like to marry: “If you find it hard to speak it out, simply show one arm or the other to let us know.” The girl showed both arms. Her parents got confused and asked her why. The girl replied: “I want to eat in the east, and sleep in the west.”
There’s a frog living in a well. It thinks that the sky is as big as the mouth of the well. It says to a turtle who comes from the east sea: “How happy I am! I can jump onto the well wall to play, and drill into the brick holes to sleep. When I dive into the water it holds my armpit and kisses my cheeks; when I stamp on the mud it covers my feet. Those worms, crabs and tadpoles, none of them can be compared with me! Plus, owning this puddle of water, I can do whatever I want. It’s paradise. Why don’t you come and visit more often?”
Lu You, a famous poet in Song Dynasty, went out for a walk one day. He climbed over mountains after mountains, went across streams after streams, As he started to doubt that there’s no more path ahead, suddenly a village appears behind trees and flowers.